Magic Trick: Kellar's Cube Root Trick

As here presented we have substituted other cues for those used by Mr. Kellar, and, we believe, with advantage, but the method is identical with his.

In several system of mnemonics as many as three and four Tables of Fixed Ideas are used, and in this cube-root method we use one that differs in most words with Table No. 1.

In presenting this as a trick it is generally offered as something similar to the so-called "Lightning Calculation," and not as a feat of memory. Mr. Kellar prefaced it with merely a few words in which he announced that if the audience would call out any one number or two numbers he would immediately write down the cube on the blackboard and he did. It will be seen by the following Table that each number is represented by one word and the cube by a short sentence. These are connected in the performer's mind, in the manner already described; the moment a number is called out he thinks of the word that stands for it and that word, if his table is properly memorized, will revive in his mind the word or sentence that stands for the cube. The cubes of tens are not noted here, as they can be recalled instantly by calling the cubes of units thousands, as, for example, the cube of 3 equals 27; the cube of 30 is 27,000; the cube of 7 equals 343; the cube of 70 is 343,000. Now for the Table itself.

 2 7 3 Ham An Egg 6 4 4 Rye Sherry 1 2 5 5 Lie Denial 2 16 6 Hash On a dish 3 4 3 7 Key My room 51 2 8 Hive Wild Honey 7 29 9 Bee Go Nip 1 3 3 1 11 Date With my maid 1 7 2 8 12 Dine Take enough 2 1 9 7 13 Item Note book 2 7 4 4 14 Author Ink hirer 3 3 75 15 Tell Me meekly 4 0 9 6 16 Dish Rose bush 4 9 1 3 17 Talk Ripe theme 5 8 3 2 18 Thief Love money 6 8 5 9 19 Daub Shave a lip 9 2 6 1 21 Hand Punched 1 0 6 4 8 22 Nun Does show her vow 1 21 6 7 23 Name A dandy joke 1 3 82 4 24 New Year With my fine rye 1 5 6 2 5 25 Nile Dull channel 1 7 5 7 6 26 Wench Took all cash 1 9 6 8 3 27 Nag To buy each wife a home 2 1 95 2 28 Knave Neat plan 2 43 89 29 Nob No army fop 2 97 9 1 31 Mad In a big pout 3 2 7 6 8 32 Money May now catch a foe 3 5 9 3 7 33 My Home Home will be Mohawk 3 9 304 34 Mary May be a miser 4 2 8 75 35 Mule Ruin a vehicle 4 6 6 5 6 36 Smash Rich jewel show 5 0 6 5 3 37 Smoke Lose a chilly home 5 4 8 7 2 38 Move Lower a heavy can 59 3 1 9 39 My pay Help me to buy 6 8 9 21 41 Road Chief point 74 0 88 42 Run Across a five 7 9 5 0 7 43 Rum Keep losing 8 5 1 8 4 44 Rower Awful diver 9 1 1 2 5 45 Rail A bad tunnel 9 7 3 3 6 46 Rich Big mummy show 10 3 8 2 3 47 Rake Hits my wife numb 1 10 5 9 48 Rough The head sea will open 1 1 7 6 4 9 49 Rube To take a chair up 1 3 2 6 51 51 Lad The man child 1 4 0 6 0 8 52 Lion Dares chase a foe 14 8 8 7 7 53 Lamb Drove off a cook 1 5 74 6 4 54 Liar Idol crusher 1 6 6 3 7 5 55 Lily Dutch show my equal 1 75 6 1 6 56 Slouch Tackle a schottishe 1 8 5 1 9 3 57 Look The evil witty poem 1 95 1 1 2 58 Loaf Double the weight now 2 0 5 3 7 9 59 Sloop When I sell my cup 2 26 9 8 1 61 Shod An inch by a foot 2 3 8 3 2 8 62 Jane Name of my new wife 25 0 0 4 7 63 Chime Only uses a rock 2 6 2 14 4 64 Chair No china drawer 2 7 4 6 2 5 65 Shallow Niagara channel 2 8 7 4 9 6 66 Judge No fake rubbish 3 0 0 7 6 3 67 Joke Amuse a sick chum 3 14 4 3 2 68 Shave May draw your moan 3 2 8 50 9 69 Shop Woman feels happy 3 57 9 1 1 71 Goat Milk by the day 3 7 3 24 8 72 Coin Make men rave 3 8 9 01 7 73 Come Move up a stake 4 0 5 2 2 4 74 Choir Rose Hill nunnery 42 1 8 7 5 75 Quill Worn out of gall 4 3 8 9 7 6 76 Coach Remove baggage 4 5 6 5 3 3 77 Cook Relish a oily mummy 4 74 5 5 2 78 Cuff Sore, cruel line 4 9 3 0 3 9 79 Cop Rip a museum up 5 3 1 4 4 1 81 Food Well made arrow root 5 51 3 6 8 82 Fine Loyalty may shave 5 7 1 7 8 7 83 Foam Liquid quaffing 59 2 70 4 84 Fire Albany gas ray 6 1 4 1 2 5 85 Fall Shatter town hall 6 3 6 0 5 6 86 Fish Shame a choice leach 6 5 8 5 0 3 87 Fake Shall a fool swim 6 8 1 4 7 2 88 Five Shaved a racoon 7 0 4 9 6 9 89 Fop Kiss our bishop 75 3 5 7 1 91 Piety Gloomy lookout 7 7 86 8 8 92 Pony Kick a fish off a hive 8 0 4 3 57 93 Poem Vassar Milk 8 3 0 5 8 4 94 Bar Famous loafer 8 5 7 3 7 5 95 Pill Vile chemical 8 8 4 7 3 6 96 Page Favoring a mash 9 1 2 6 7 3 97 Pack Beaten each game 9 41 1 9 2 98 Puff Part the bun 9 7 0 2 9 9 99 Pup Big as a nabob

Let us caution our readers to observe carefully the exact sounds of the letters, the variations in sound of the same letter, and the silent letters, as, for example, g in judge is sounded like ch = 6; in baggage, the double consonants are sounded like a single K = 7, whereas the third g has the sound of ch = 6; in chair the ch equals 6, while in chemical it has the sound of K=7. These several sounds once mastered no further trouble will be experienced and no one, we believe, will regret the time devoted to the study of this branch of mnemonics.